One Public Estate property saving scheme seeks fresh bids

11 Apr 16

Councils have been invited to apply for the next phase of a public sector scheme intended to cut property costs across local and central government.

Over 100 council areas are already part of the One Public Estate programme, which brings together local authorities and Whitehall agencies to develop initiatives to cut property costs and generate capital receipts, such as sharing property.

After the Spending Review in November allocated an additional £31m to expand the programme, councils are being invited to apply for up to £500,000. Councils already part of the scheme will be able to bid for extra funding for new projects that bring clear additional benefits to existing initiatives.

Local Government Association chair Lord Porter said councils have shown that they are in the perfect position to act as leaders of place and deliver effective cross public sector asset management. The most recent 24 partnerships were announced last December and are expected to generate £138m in property sales and save £56m in running costs over the next five years, as well as free up space for 16,500 new homes.

“Councils are already the most efficient part of the public sector, and they have reaped impressive rewards for their communities through their leadership on the programme, unlocking land to create vital homes and jobs, helping services to work better together, and bringing in money while generating savings for the future,” Porter said.

“With this latest phase of the programme, we’ll edge closer to achieving our ambition to have all councils signed up by 2018, driving growth in their areas through the strong local leadership that we’ve already seen in the early phases of the programme.”

The scheme is jointly delivered by the LGA and the Cabinet Office’s Government Property Unit.

Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock stated the programme was “going from strength to strength” and making a big difference in communities across the country.

“This fourth phase will go even further – delivering more growth, more transformation and better use of land. It will support a record number of local authorities to be more ambitious than ever before,” he added.

Councils can apply for the funding here.

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